How to hold Transnational Corporations responsible for Human Rights Violations

30 May 2016

A public hearing will take place at the European Parliament to forward the challenge of regulation of TransNational Corporations (TNCs) in relation to human rights.

30 May 2016
European Parliament, Room PHS 5B001

The work of the UN Open Ended Inter-Governmental Working Group (OEIGWG) developing a legally binding international instrument on Transnational Corporations and other business enterprises is now in its second year. This OEIGWG was mandated in June 2014 (AHRC/29/6) and its work has opened a new historic chapter in putting the challenge of regulation of TNCs back on the international agenda. Furthermore it underscores the search for effective alternatives on the trade, investment and access to justice.

This Public Hearing at the European Parliament on May 30th is an important step in making the work of the OEIGWG widely known among Parliamentarians and in developing a momentum of support and constructive public debate. This is particularly important in the European context, where the EU member states have until now acted as a bloc within the UNHRC to oppose the initiative.

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There will be two panels:

Global Corporate Rule-Architecture of Impunity Trade & Investment Agreements & TNCs

Introduction (5 min): Miguel Urbán – MEP Podemos Spain
Panelists (40 min): 

  • Erika González – OMAL Spain, Introduction to Global Corporate Rule
  • Charles Santiago – Malaysia MP, Free Trade Agreements and Corporate agenda in ASEAN
  • Themba Chauke – La Via Campesina South Africa, Extractivism in South Africa (Lonmin & Amadiba Struggles)
  • Tchenna Maso – MAB Brazil, Rio Doce environmental disaster (Mariana State, Brazil)

Moderator: Pascoe Sabido – Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO)

First Round Respondents (5 min): Noelia Vera (Spanish MP), Monica
Vargas (Transnational Institute Spain), La Via Campesina Europe,
Renaud Vivien - CADTM

Roadmap towards UN Binding Treaty on TNCs, strategies at natoinal, european and international level

Introduction (5 min): Helmut Scholz – MEP, Die Linke
Panelists (40 min):

  • Ambassador Maria Fernanda Espinosa-Ecuador Permanent Mission, Geneva, Road Map of The UN Inter-Governmental Working Group On TNCs
  • Melik Ozden – CETIM Switzerland , Challenges and Opportunities in the UN process
  • Gonzalo Berrón – Transnational Institute Brazil, Social movements and civil society mobilisation and strategy

Moderator: Brid Brennan – Transnational Institute & Global Campaign to Dismantle Corporate Power

First Respondents (5 mins): Raffaele Morgantini - CETIM Switzerland, Manoela Roland - Brazil, Chima Williams - lawyer at ERA-Friends of the Earth Nigeria and Elisabeth Pèriz - Tierra Digna Colombia 

Open Forum (10 min): Conclusions

Objective of the public hearing

The overall objective is to broaden and strengthen the participation and engagement of members of the European Parliament (EP) and National Parliaments to support the growing momentum on this initiative and heighten Parliamentary profile in the process.

Specific objectives include

  • To contribute to enriching the debate on the arguments for the Binding Treaty – involving human rights and international law experts, parliamentarians and social movement leaders.
  • To mobilise Parliamentary expertise in developing the proposals that will feed into and finally shape the provisions of the Treaty.
  • To identify moments in the Political Calendar which can be conducive to advancing the work of the OEIGWG. 

Dowload the poster and programme